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Calguns LEOs LEOs; chat, kibitz and relax. Non-LEOs; have a questions for a cop? Ask it here, in a CIVIL manner.

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  #1  
Old 06-15-2018, 11:26 PM
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Default New career fantasies

I turned 40 last December. Been in a field called Industrial Design for the last 15 years mostly doing cad/engineering and design work for explosives detection systems (cat scanning, x-ray, MMW, and other technologies). Did UI development and probably 1/3 everything screened through a machine in the USA from TSA or CBP had a machine design or interface I had something to do with.

But I was always a independent contractor, paid well but no stock. My own company is very small, and doesn't have much value in and of itself. I find myself deeply unsatisfied with the format of my work- lots of endless hours spent in front of a computer doing drafting or writing technical documents and directions. It's turned me into an overweight and out of shape person.

I dream of doing something that required being out in the world, not buried behind a desk. When I first when to college (I have a BA and MA in Industrial Design) I had the idea of going into law enforcement. Except for a coupe of summer jobs working as a security guard I had no experience at all in anything close to LEO.

Lately I have thought that at 40, this would be the last time in my life I could make a change. It feels like climbing mount Everest in the sense that it would require a completely different lifestyle.

Anyone have any advise here? I always thought I could make a decent cop, but even passing the physical might be a no-go. I do have some hypertension and borderline diabetic, so that's not good. Doc thinks if I really put all in to get into shape and lost 40 pounds I could be capable, maybe.

The idea would be police, maybe private security, also considered Fugitive Retrieval as a kind of outlier option. Any ideas for an not-to old man who might be out of his mind a bit?

I've had a lot of friends / family on SFPD over the years. Not 100% sure what the process is like.
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Old 06-15-2018, 11:40 PM
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Lose that 40 pounds then get back to us.
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Old 06-16-2018, 1:10 AM
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do you still want to keep your day job and just do this part time or are you looking at abandoning your current career and going in full time as some type of leo?
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Old 06-16-2018, 1:35 AM
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do you still want to keep your day job and just do this part time or are you looking at abandoning your current career and going in full time as some type of leo?
I'd say full time, no reason to stick around behind the desk. I would have one foot always in that door as a backup- in case things don't work out. I've just lost almost any joy in endlessly drafting the next bomb detection machine. One bright spot in my job was going out and working with CBP at Otai Mesa and San Yisidro- actually working with people doing LEO work.
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Someone must put an end to this endless bickering by posting the unadulterated indisputable facts and truth.
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Not checkers, not chess, its Jenga.
"The California matrix of gun control laws is among the harshest in the nation and are filled with criminal law traps for people of common intelligence who desire to obey the law." - U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez

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  #5  
Old 06-16-2018, 2:24 AM
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Have you done any ride alongs? How flexible is the "home life?" How flexible is your body to potentially working nights for a few years?

If you really think it is something you may want to switch to but don't know about your body being able to handle it; start working on the physical aspect first. If you have heart related issues; they may prevent you from passing a physical. Also, if you can't get those under control you may want to stay away from this. Too many cops die from heart attacks/related issues due to the physical and mental stresses of the career.

Also, there are some LEO jobs that may not involve as much field work/stress (though I know you don't want to be stuck behind a desk either). Sometimes things like a CSU/UC/Community college PD can be a bit more "chill" job but still get you out doing cop work. There are also things like Department of Insurance investigators or DMV investigators, county probation departments, or even Parole (if you have your degree).

How is your retirement nest egg going? If you like fast paced cop work; be advised it is generally a young man's game IMO. Hitting fences, getting into fights, car wrecks, kicking doors, etc takes a toll on the body. If you don't have alot socked away for retirement; you may not be able to retire from a LEO agency at 55-57 even if your body is telling you to quit. Do you want/can you do this job till you are 60 or so?
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Old 06-16-2018, 3:50 PM
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Smile Probation may be a possibility....

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Originally Posted by Discogodfather View Post
I turned 40 last December.....I find myself deeply unsatisfied with the format of my work- lots of endless hours spent in front of a computer doing drafting or writing technical documents and directions. It's turned me into an overweight and out of shape person.... Lately I have thought that at 40, this would be the last time in my life I could make a change. It feels like climbing mount Everest in the sense that it would require a completely different lifestyle....
I started in the LE field at 44. However, it sounds like I started in better shape than you are right now. If you are looking to be a street cop/door kicker, I would seriously consider getting into much better shape, as others have said, "it's a young man's game".

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Originally Posted by Discogodfather View Post
Anyone have any advise here? I always thought I could make a decent cop, but even passing the physical might be a no-go. I do have some hypertension and borderline diabetic, so that's not good. Doc thinks if I really put all in to get into shape and lost 40 pounds I could be capable, maybe...The idea would be police, maybe private security, also considered Fugitive Retrieval as a kind of outlier option. Any ideas for an not-to old man who might be out of his mind a bit?...I've had a lot of friends / family on SFPD over the years. Not 100% sure what the process is like.
You could do what I did which is start in the clerical zone, doing Records. I did a 114 mile daily commute over a mountain pass for a straight year as an Extra Help Sheriff's Records Technician. It helped to get my foot into the front door of law enforcement as I had to pass a fairly intensive Background Check. The background check was equivalent to what a Dispatcher would have to pass. I also took this time to work on my physical fitness.

I then worked my way into the Juvenile/Institutions side of Probation which is a fully sworn position, where I worked my tail off for four years, proving myself to the Department. In order to get the position I had to pass a full background check, a light physical, a psychological exam, and a 1 year probationary period. The probationary period included a 1 month(ish) academy. I was also required to be proficient at weaponless defense tactics, which can be pretty physically intensive. The job involved shift work, which can also be physically taxing. Overall, it is definitely not as intensive as a street cop.

I have finally stepped into a Field position last year and am loving my job. I get to do some enforcement things (arrests) and I also get to help people (which is what a lot of us got into Law Enforcement for in the first place). I no longer have shift work, the job does have a physical component but is DEFINITELY not the same as a street cop. I get weekends and holidays off.

I would suggest checking out Probation departments in your area, possibly interning for a short stint to see if it is a good fit for you. If you can, check various sized departments, smaller ones allow you more variety in the duties you will have, while larger departments will generally have you specialize more.

Good luck on your journey!

DPOD68
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Old 06-16-2018, 5:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Discogodfather View Post
I turned 40 last December.

The idea would be police, maybe private security, also considered Fugitive Retrieval as a kind of outlier option. Any ideas for an not-to old man who might be out of his mind a bit?
Well law enforcement has a lot of jobs. Corrections, Highway Patrol, Court Bailiff, Game Warden, Park Ranger, etc, etc.

So every job is different and has different risks. At 40 do you want to be in a fight? Also have you taken an aptitude test showing you are cut out for law enforcement? You do not want the 'honeymoon' stage end after 3 to 5 years and realize this is just as boring as other jobs.

I am a retired policeman and in private security you will not be working with geniuses. The private sector fugitive apprehension team thing is you really need to know someone. I thought I did but they wanted me to do Process Serving while they were doing the fun stuff.

Good luck
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Old 06-16-2018, 9:37 PM
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Like people have said, get into shape to not only pass your physical but to get into a lifetime routine of staying fit. Believe me shift work and siting behind a desk takes a toll on a person's physical conditioning. LE is 95% boredom and routine and 5% shear terror, where you could be fitting not only for your life but the life of your partners as well.

CBP Officer, especially in SYS and OTM, is tough. Hours are long and you are sucking on gas fumes of 100,000 cars, a lot of them junkers, trying to cross into the busiest land border in the world. My hat goes off to any CBP officer because the "push" sucks, but the experience you get there you will not get anywhere in the world.
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Old 06-16-2018, 9:40 PM
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You only get one life then it is over, no do overs. Do what you want to do.
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Old 06-16-2018, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBR_rider View Post
Have you done any ride alongs? How flexible is the "home life?" How flexible is your body to potentially working nights for a few years?
I feel lifestyle flexibility wise it is possible, but body is an open question. Since I was breaking up fights and running after people as a security guard when I was 20, I haven't had any real need to do anything physically intensive. That's where a PE bootcamp comes in, I figure under that intensity over the next few months it should appear if there is anything really bad. The back is not great, but my knees are good (avoided high school football) and mentally pretty sharp.

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Originally Posted by dpod68 View Post
I started in the LE field at 44. However, it sounds like I started in better shape than you are right now. If you are looking to be a street cop/door kicker, I would seriously consider getting into much better shape, as others have said, "it's a young man's game".
Yes, it's no joke. All my friends that went into SFPD did it much younger, and were generally stashed in tenderloin and downtown hot spots right off- the worst possible places. First day on the job a close friend had to break up a knife fight in a residential hotel on 6th, one of the guys died from blood loss. Gun out literally with a few hours of starting his official first shift.

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I am a retired policeman and in private security you will not be working with geniuses. The private sector fugitive apprehension team thing is you really need to know someone. I thought I did but they wanted me to do Process Serving while they were doing the fun stuff.
I do think my "dog the bounty hunter" fantasies are not going to work out, but there is a school (bailspeak?) that runs certified classes in San Jose. The program isn't super expensive so I was thinking of just checking it out. Got to admit I know literally nothing about it, I haven't even seen the dog show that much. I worked private security and ended up doing VIP stuff towards then end in my early 20's and I totally agree, other than the ex-cops or cops on the job moonlighting the whole thing was not exactly PHD level stuff.

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Originally Posted by veeklog View Post

CBP Officer, especially in SYS and OTM, is tough. Hours are long and you are sucking on gas fumes of 100,000 cars, a lot of them junkers, trying to cross into the busiest land border in the world. My hat goes off to any CBP officer because the "push" sucks, but the experience you get there you will not get anywhere in the world.
I worked in OTM doing research for a product we developed for CBP and the defense contractor we worked for. Endless hours there and also San Yisidro. Most of the CBP guys were ex military and the job was brutal to me in terms of hours when doing non-stop inspections on vehicles, usually semis. They were also highly militarized, especially at OTM. Vests, helmets, tactical geared out and the feeling was it was also dangerous. Never experienced any danger, but there was tons of stuff going on in terms of seizures, etc. Very tense situation for those guys, I had a lot of respect for them. They also had to buy a lot of their equipment, or chose to bring certain types of helmets and vests on their own.
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Someone must put an end to this endless bickering by posting the unadulterated indisputable facts and truth.
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Not checkers, not chess, its Jenga.
"The California matrix of gun control laws is among the harshest in the nation and are filled with criminal law traps for people of common intelligence who desire to obey the law." - U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez

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Old 06-17-2018, 7:57 PM
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Start as a reserve officer/Deputy somewhere. It will give you a better idea if it’s what you really want to do. Like others have said, it’s a young mans game. I started at 22 and retired at 54. By then I was too busted up to keep working.

It’s not “Mission Impossible” for you, but it will definitely be a challenge. Getting to special assignments like detectives or fugitive retrieval requires paying your dues on the streets first. That amount of time varies by agency.

Also, it will be harder to get vested in a retirement system, as minimum time also varies.

Best of luck.

Ron
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Old 06-17-2018, 8:25 PM
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Just to amplify what's already been said, get into a fitness routine, and reserve enough time and money from your day job to put yourself through Level 3 & Level 2 academy. Get hired as a Reserve. At that point, you will know that you have sufficient discipline and interest in the field to seriously consider making a switch. Working as a Reserve, you will have direct experience on what the job is, and the agency you're working for will be able to evaluate whether they're interested in hiring you full-time, and vice-versa. Plus, you will be significantly more hireable at other agencies if you're looking for a faster or slower pace.

And worst case, even if you decide that shift work and chasing criminals isn't for you, you'd have the option to continue doing it part-time as an avocation as long as you're interested.
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Old 06-18-2018, 8:49 PM
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Try to remember to run a lot like 9 m miles for 4-5 miles 3 times a week on pavement. That will help melt the 40lbs. Once you run in formation, your knees might never be the same again.
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Old 06-18-2018, 9:22 PM
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Probation has considerably lower physical standards. Not to say you should't strive to be in as good as shape possible, since we still have to chase down idiots.

But we do a metric ****ton of paperwork. If you want to get out from behind a desk, might not be the right way to go.
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Old 06-18-2018, 9:36 PM
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You sure this is what you're ready for?

https://www.policeone.com/officer-sh...armed-suspect/
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Old 06-18-2018, 10:05 PM
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You sure this is what you're ready for?

https://www.policeone.com/officer-sh...armed-suspect/
Yeah, it makes me wonder what the hell I am thinking about! The way the crowd turned and everyone's attitude in this city can be super disturbing.

This guy was a felon, known Nortenio, chucked a Glock 40 with a extended magazine while running (actually exposed it but you can't see it in the video). Craziest thing is this guy was already shot by SFPD in 2012, so this is the second time.
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Someone must put an end to this endless bickering by posting the unadulterated indisputable facts and truth.
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Not checkers, not chess, its Jenga.
"The California matrix of gun control laws is among the harshest in the nation and are filled with criminal law traps for people of common intelligence who desire to obey the law." - U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez

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Old 06-20-2018, 9:43 PM
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Yeah, it makes me wonder what the hell I am thinking about! The way the crowd turned and everyone's attitude in this city can be super disturbing.

This guy was a felon, known Nortenio, chucked a Glock 40 with a extended magazine while running (actually exposed it but you can't see it in the video). Craziest thing is this guy was already shot by SFPD in 2012, so this is the second time.
The crowd reaction is typical of SF and it's the meat and potatoes of what the SFPD deals with daily. on top of that, cops get no support whatsoever from the city, the administration and the voters. if the video is giving you second thoughts then the SFPD is probably not for you.
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